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25/03/2021 09:00
Portugal aiming for spot in second round of #EuroVolleyU17M qualifiers
News from the National Federations

Porto, Portugal, March 25, 2021. The U17 men’s national team of Portugal will soon travel to Vibo Valentia, Italy, to contest a WEVZA qualifier for this year’s European Championship. Their head coach Nuno Pereira recently helped the U18 and U20 teams qualify for the final round of their respective continental competitions, but this time everything looks more difficult. The pandemic has affected the work of the group and Pereira admits that his main goal is to reach the second round of qualifications scheduled for early May – and from there to secure a spot in the finals due to take place in July in Albania.

“Our main goal in the WEVZA Tournament is to secure qualification for the second phase, which will be taking place in May. The WEVZA event is very competitive, with some of the best teams in Europe, so it will be a difficult and challenging task. Our pool is very strong. Germany is our first opponent, and it is a physically strong team, but Portugal, in the recent past, has been able to exploit their weaknesses very well. On the second day, we will face Spain, a team similar to ours, in technical and physical terms, but that in recent years Portugal has managed to beat,” Pereira says. “On the third day, it will be the turn of the home team, Italy. As a rule, the Italian teams are very good, with players very much developed both technically and tactically, with great experience in international terms and used to playing big competitions. We, however, have our strengths too and we will play this match, as well as all the others, with organisation, determination and conviction, in accordance to our goals,” adds the Portuguese head coach.

“We are living in a difficult time for everyone. Sport has been suffering a lot, especially Volleyball, because of the current constraints. With regard to the U17 team, we have had to adapt our work to these constraints. Throughout these months, the Portuguese Volleyball Federation has given us all the conditions so that we could work towards achieving our main goal, which is, once again, to be among the best teams in Europe, that is, in the Final phase of the European Championship. The pandemic has brought much uncertainty. You may have been working hard and well but if on the eve of the competition, someone tests positive to the coronavirus, the whole group has to go into quarantine. Thus, it is difficult to see positive aspects, but I highlight this as the only positive aspect that the pandemic has made us much more supportive of each other, we now realise as a privilege the freedom we had before and we are working even more focused on the achievement of our goals,” Pereira concludes.

Team Portugal will consist of the following 12 players:

Carlos Ramos, Jorge Marques (AA Espinho), Manuel Catarino, Miguel Morais Pereira (AA S Mamede), Diogo Fevereiro (CV Oeiras), Gustavo Sousa (Esmoriz GC), Rafael Esperanço (Esc. Latino Coelho), Francisco Mendes, Miguel Pedrosa, Leonardo Pereira (SC Espinho), João Salgueiro, José Rafael Oliveira (VC Viana).

International referee Nuno Teixeira will be travelling to Italy as well to attend the WEVZA qualifier running from March 31 to April 4 in Vibo Valentia.

News nr. 65 of 23547
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